Area Major League Baseball draftees weigh their options

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SARASOTA - Now that things have settled after the Major League Baseball draft last weekend, several area players had decisions to make about their future. And these players had options, which means leverage.

Cord Sandberg was a state champion quarterback and the 2-time state Class 7A Player of the Year with a full ride to Mississippi State in hand. But baseball was his first love, and he was drafted by the Phillies in the 3rd round. “I just knew if I was drafted pretty early I was going to go. I am glad it didn't come down to it, and I signed, and I am excited to play baseball."

Sean Labsan of Riverview was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 17th round, but the honor student decided to get an education and still pitch and play outfield for Florida Atlantic.

Nick Longhi was the 1st baseman and a 4-year starter on the Venice Indians 2-time state champion team. An expected Top-3 round talent, he was drafted by the Red Sox in the 30th round. He grew up a Red Sox fan. "It was a lot later than I wanted to go, but I thought about it. The best case scenario is I was drafted by my favorite team. That kind of took the sting of being drafted so late away."

He fell to the 30th round because he has a 4-year ride to Louisiana State, a national power in baseball. The Red Sox drafted him anyway, knowing what it would take to sign him. "If I don't get the amount I am looking for, I am going to play for the best baseball program in the country and get an education."

Sean Hurley out of Sarasota High School was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays and was going to sign with them most likely.

So Longhi waits to see what the Red Sox do before he decides on his future, while Sandberg is already in Clearwater, signed sealed and delivered ready to get on the field tomorrow. "Obviously it was an honor to hear your name called and be a part of a great organization like the Phillies. I am excited."